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Nicad batteries have some interesting properties.

The voltage on the cell terminals during the charge process can reach almost 1.5 volts. If the cell voltage is at cutoff (1.0 volts) when the charger is applied the voltage will increase as the cell charges. Let's assume the charge current is 0.1C and the temperature is 20 degrees C. When the cell is fully charged two other things happen, on the cell temperature reaches a peak and the internal cell pressure also reaches a peak. The interesting thing is that the cell voltage peaks a little before the other two peaks, in fact the cell voltage peaks before full charge and the dips a little at full charge and this dip occurs at the peak of the temperature and pressure. I worked for over 10 years at a electronic distributor that in the value added department, rebuilt nicad battery packs. I worked in that department for a while and learned from the supervisor that if one is to charge a nicad battery at .095C (capacity of the cell in Ma X.095) the cell will never over charge at room temperature. I also learned that quality packs had an internal thermostat the had a set of normally closed contacts. When the internal temperature reached the temperature of the thermostat the contacts opened and current would neither flow into the pack or out of the pack. The attacked schematic is for a charger that was specific for a 7.2V 170MA pack, but can be modified for other batteries The supplied schematic is a design for a 7.2V 170Ma nicad battery. By changing the values of R8(75 ohms)and R2(22ohms)it will work with other Ma capacity batteries. By changing the value of R3(560k) the circuit will also work for other voltages. The circuit as shown will have very close to 9V at the output terminals when the 7.2 volt battery is fully charged. This is assuming a 1.5 volt per cell for a 6 cell (7.2 Volt) nicad battery. At this condition the voltage on the high side of the 100k pot. is 0.8V. Voltage drops for other components are typically: R8 1.25V R1 0.375V D1 0.5V LM317 2.0V For the circuit to operate correctly the input voltage should be a minimum of 5.0 Volts higher than the full charge voltage of the battery. All resistors excepty R1 and R8 are 1/4 watt. The wattage of R1 and R8 depends on the charge current. The LM317LZ will handle charge currents of to 100Ma, for higher charge currents us a LM317T. The green LED is on when power is applied, the red LED is on when the battery is charging, and the yellow LED comes on when the battery is charged, or if the charger is connected to power and no battery is connected. My recommendation is that you choose a charge current less than capacity/10. If you will give me the charge current I will recalculate the values for R1,R8 and R3.